I picked up a slightly used iPod off a friend, taking advantage of his need for a 4G clickwheel. and am having a problem. I’ve found a ton of programs that enable me to get music off the iPod, but none that put music on the iPod, except for iTunes. Here’s what I want:
My iPod is “owned” (in both senses) by my computer at home. I then bring it to work and can move the music I’ve ripped at work and add that music to my iPod, in addition to the music I have from home. I don’t want to copy my iTunes library onto my iPod, bring it home, and add it to my home iTunes collection. I just want to put the music on it from whatever computer I happen to be in front of, without losing the music that’s already on the iPod.
But maybe that’s the point. Apple talks about the “digital media hub,” not the digital media network. They want to be at the center of your digital media universe, they don’t want your iPod talking to your Rio talking to your XBox talking to your set-top-box talking to your Linux system. In a digital media network, everything needs to be able to talk to everything, which means Apple loses its place of control.
And don’t think for a second it isn’t about control. Google isn’t finding it for me, but I remember reading a post (probably from Copyfight or The Importance Of…) where the author was told by an Apple rep that even if the music industry hadn’t asked for DRM on the iTunes Music Store they would have insisted on it. That puts them in a place of control, where their store and their player are only interchangeable with each other.
Real recently (and Power Computing before them) did a good job of pointing out Apples need for control by creating a way for the iPod to play music rented from another online music store. You can read this good summery of the silliness of Apple and Real fighting for control, but the bottom line is that Apple will fight tooth and nail for the power that comes with controlling digital music distribution.
Rants about Apple’s power struggle aside, is there any way to add music to my iPod from a computer that isn’t linked to it?